WASHINGTON | Washington sanctioned on Wednesday, the captains of the five oil tankers iranian refuelled Venezuela, while the United States are mounting pressure on the president of venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.
“The sailors who trade with Iran and Venezuela will have to face the consequences that entails vis-à-vis the United States,” said secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“The assets of these captains will be blocked. Their careers and outlook (professional) will suffer”, he added, announcing their placement on the black list of the u.s. Treasury.
Five oil sent by Iran to Venezuela, where fuel shortages have worsened with the pandemic coronavirus, have sent some 1.5 million barrels of fuel.
The head of the diplomacy of venezuela Jorge Arreaza has responded on Twitter that these reprisals were “evidence of the hatred of the “hawks” (Donald) Trump against Venezuela”.
Iran, for its part, has estimated that the last sanctions showed that the campaign of “maximum pressure” us against them was failing.
“The us measures desperate against iranian citizens (…) are just the abject failure” of the campaign against Tehran, has gazouillé the spokesperson of the diplomacy, the iranian Abbas Mousavi.
“Despite pressure from the united states, #Iran, and #Venezuela will remain determined to oppose the u.s. sanctions illegal”, he added.
The administration of Donald Trump, who has made Iran its main enemy in the Middle East, has imposed from 2018 of draconian punishments against the iranian authorities and continues to show its strength, through its policy of so-called “maximum pressure”.
“As long as their harmful behavior continues, our campaign of maximum pressure also,” said Mike Pompeo, speaking of Venezuela and Iran.
Washington, which described the socialist president Nicolas Maduro of “dictator” and wants his fall, has imposed sanctions on exports of crude from Venezuela and Iran, as well as against numerous government and military officials of the two countries.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, but its production is in free fall. Caracas estimates that the u.s. sanctions are responsible for this collapse. Experts attribute it to wrong-headed policies, lack of investment and corruption.
Iran has expressed many times his support for Maduro, which is also supported by Russia, China, Turkey and Cuba. The close relations between Caracas and Tehran date back to the time of president Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), the mentor and predecessor of Nicolas Maduro.